The Tulsa Drillers got a big assist from right fielder Yadir Drake and another from a west Texas thunderstorm to keep a successful road trip going Friday night in Midland, Texas. The Drillers posted a 2-1, rain-shortened victory at Midland's Security Bank Ballpark for their third win in four games on their current road trip. The result keeps Tulsa only one game back of first-place Springfield in the North Division standings of the Texas League.
Tulsa picked up the win against the RockHounds when Drake threw out the potential game-tying run at the plate to end the bottom of the sixth inning in what proved to be the final out of the game.
The Drillers took a 2-0 lead in the contest with runs in the first and sixth innings. In the top of the first, Adam Law and Peter Lavin opened the game with consecutive singles. A one-out double by Nate Samson plated Law with the game's first run.
It remained 1-0 until the sixth. In the top half of the inning, Lavin drew a leadoff walk and scored when Lars Anderson followed with an opposite-field double.
Ross Stripling blanked the RockHounds through the first five innings before running into trouble in the bottom half of the sixth. With one out, Jaycob Brugman and Colin Walsh produced back-to-back singles. After a ground out, Stripling appeared to escape the jam with a strikeout, but Matt Olson reached safely on the wild pitch to load the bases. Ryan Healy followed with a base hit that scored one run for the Hounds and nearly two. Chad Pinder tried to score the tying run from second on the hit, but Drake's strong throw to the plate was in time to record the final out of the inning and keep the Drillers in front 2-1.
The play proved to be a game winner. Before the seventh inning could begin, strong winds from an approaching thunderstorm forced a stoppage to the game. Heavy rains eventually moved over the ballpark, and after a 1:20 rain delay, the game was called by the umpires, giving the Drillers the win.
Stripling was outstanding. He allowed the one run on five hits in six innings. Stripling did not walk a batter and struck out seven while leveling his record at 3-3.
The series between the two teams will continue Saturday night in Midland. Chris Anderson (9-7, 4.19 ERA) will take the mound for the Drillers against Oklahoma native Dillon Overton (3-2, 4.28 ERA) of the RockHounds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00PM.